The event, scheduled to take place April 29, was to honor Casteel's 25 years as superintendent before her successor steps into the role this summer. The event was scheduled to take place outdoors and follow the district's COVID-19 mitigation strategies.
"Since I announced my retirement, I have been the recipient of an outpouring of kind words and best wishes from hundreds of staff, parents, students, and community members, including plans to honor Tom and me in an outdoor retirement reception," Casteel wrote in a letter published to the district website April 26. "My heart is overflowing with appreciation. So, it is with regret that I have requested that the committee cancel the event. The truth is, and those who work with me know this, I would have preferred leaving quietly without any attention. However, the staff who work alongside me invested a lot of time and energy to design a way, in this pandemic environment, to recognize my 50 years of service. I regret I am unable to honor their desires and efforts. I would never want an event in my honor to bring negative attention to the District."
Casteel's last day with the district is June 30.
"When I say goodbye, I will take with me so many beautiful memories and look forward to celebrating all your future successes!" Casteel wrote in the letter.